The Impact and Evolution of Design Thinking at Stanford University

PI: Bernie Roth


We explored the unique Design and Design Thinking history at Stanford and identified 323 courses and collected 2617 course descriptions (with 20 years still missing), over 120 documents, and conducted over 40 interviews with alumni, faculty, and lecturer from each decade. In this follow-on project, we want to analyze the collected data, organize, narrate, and make the themes, stories, and artifacts available. Furthermore, we want to explore several identified main themes in more detail and investigate theimpact of Stanford’s design / design thinking, innovations on the global movement in design, and resulting innovations and entrepreneurial activities. This project on history helps us understand complex questions and dilemmas by examining how the past has shaped and continues to shape global, national, and local relationships between technologies (design) and people (society). It informs researchers, educators, and practitioners on how we need to continue developing design education and practice to tackle today’s challenges.


Jan Auernhammer